The Anonymous Widower

Another Song For Ukraine

This one is I think Ukrainian.

Note that Ukrainians tend to pronounce W’s as V’s, so NLAW sounds a bit like love.

Apparently, Volodymyr Zelenskyy serenaded Boris with a version of All You Need Is NLAW.

I asked Google, if the Beatles were popular in Russia and found this article on the BBC, which is entitled Beatles For Sale: The Vinyl Underground In The USSR.

The NLAW is an Anglo-Swedish anti-tank weapon, which is being used successfully by the Ukrainians.

March 19, 2022 Posted by | World | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Pop Group That Saved A City With A Little Help From Their Friends

It is the fiftieth anniversary of the release of one of the best albums of all time; Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

I bought the album and still have it somewhere.

But I don’t think most people understand how the Beatles changed a city completely.

Liverpool in the sixties had nasty undercurrents of violence and religious hatred. But  in the five years, I lived in the city, these changed for the better, with the rivalry being transferred to support for your favourite group or football team.

Liverpool acquired a belief that it could take on the world and win.

Now, when I go back regularly, I find a confident, bustling, modern and friendly city, that compares to any in the world.

But what would have happened if the Beatles hadn’t?

April 5, 2017 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

The Film That Changed My Life!

Last night, I went to the Hackney Picturehouse to see the newly-remastered digital version of Hard Day’s Night.

The film was originally released in July 1964 and I probably saw it that summer or soon afterwards. I remember I spent that summer in London, as I was working at Enfield Rolling Mills, in the Electronics Laboratory, putting little bits of automation on metal processing machinery.

There was a mixed-sex group of us at school, who spent time together and went to parties, plays and events. Some of us may have gone to see the film together after the summer. We did go to see the Beatles in Hammersmith that Christmas, which was a night I’ll never forget.

But whenever and wherever I saw Hard Day’s Night for the first time, it had a tremendous effect on my life.

I often wonder, if I’d not seen the film and the Beatles live, whether I would have ever considered going to Liverpool University. If I hadn’t, I’d have never met C and my life would have been completely different.

Since that first viewing, wherever it was, that film has always been one of my favourites and I’ve seen it many times. But not as many times, as I would have liked, as C never liked to see a film too many times.

So it was an absolute joy to see the film last night.

The cinema was surprisingly full for a Monday night and the audience was generally about fifty upwards, although there were a few children and teenagers there, with a sprinkling of twenty- and thirty-somethings.

The film still has all the power to delight and inspire and I suspect it will be doing so for many years yet.

As I said to a young couple as I left the cinema last night, the film proved to me that we could all have dreams and live them! I certainly have lived my life to the full!

Without the Beatles and a Hard Day’s Night, the world would be a very much poorer place.

I’d probably have gone to a third-rate University and ended up back in Felixstowe in a semi with  a thick ugly wife and 2.4 children. Perish the thought!

If Hard Day’s Night comes to a cinema near you in the next few months, then go and see one of the most significant films of the 1960s, that did a lot to redefine modern cinema.


July 8, 2014 Posted by | World | , , , | 1 Comment

John Lennon Gets A Building

I don’t know what John Lennon would have thought about this building at Liverpool John Moores University.

But at least it’s an impressive one in a prominent place in the City!

September 20, 2013 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

The Olympic Torch Goes By

I climbed the hill and then waited on the platform on which the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral is built.

The pictures are in the order I took them.

If I’d made a video, you would have heard the bells ring out. Just as they did, when the Relay passed the Anglican Cathedral.

A few thimgs to note in the various pictures :-

2 – This picture shows the platform at the right, where I took the pictures from.

3 – Lloyds Bank TSB’s publicity vehicle was a converted Bedford CF van, that started its life selling ice cream.

18, 19 – You can spot the Archbishop of Liverpool, the Most Reverend Patrick Kelly in full regalia. Admittedly, it was mainly red, white and blue. He seemed to be enjoying himself, but I don’t know whether he blessed the relay.

21, 26 – The giant puppets are from Hope Street Ltd. and represent Beatles characters.

23,24,25,26 – The building directly opposite is part of Liverpool John Moores University.  In my day it was a Roman Catholic Teacher Training College.  Opposite the building and behind the one with all the columns, used to be the Everyman Theatre, which is currently being rebuilt.

35 – Note the man on the crane.

36,37,38,39 – The torch and a kiss is in there somewhere.

40 – Walking back towards Brownlow Hill and the University.


What it was like at ground level is shown by this video.

June 2, 2012 Posted by | Sport, Transport/Travel | , , , , | 1 Comment

Location, Location, Location

With a house, business premises or a restaurant, it’s all about location.

As a coeliac and lover of Italian food, I like Carluccio’s restaurants and eat out in them fairly often.

However, the location of their Liverpool restaurant, is in one of the best places I’ve seen for a restaurant of its type.

I just went out of Lime Street Station walked down the hill for about four minutes, through the bus station and then I was on Whitechapel, a pedestrianised street, that leads between the bus and train stations to Liverpool One Shopping Centre and the Pier Head.  The restaurant, is also not far from the Walker Art Gallery and St. George’s Hall.

Incidentally, just round the corner is a taxi rank and Tommy Steele’s statue of Eleanor Rigby.

So it’s in a great location to either start or finish your visit to Liverpool City Centre.

It was also much busier than I expected, as I was at an odd time for lunch. But then I seem to remember that Liverpudlians tend to be very efficient in their trips to a restaurant, as they’ve always got something important to do afterwards.

June 2, 2012 Posted by | Food, Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

The BBC’s Description of Today’s Torch Relay Leg

The Olympic Torch is going from Bolton to Liverpool today.  I was drawn to their description of the leg on the BBC’s web site.

Through Lancashire and down the coast to Knotty Ash, made famous by Ken Dodd and his Diddy Men characters, via Aintree Racecourse to Liverpool, home of The Beatles, two top football clubs and once known for its wealth as the “Second City of Empire”.

In my view Liverpool may not now be the “Second City of Empire”, but it’s certainly the Second City in the UK.

The description is accompanied by a picture of a horse jumping to victory in the Grand National. I thought for a moment the horse was Red Rum, but the picture is more recent, the colours are wrong and the horse doesn’t have a sheepskin noseband.

Eat your heart out Manchester!

Where’s your historic city centre, world-famous racecourse and amazing river? To name but three!

June 1, 2012 Posted by | Sport | , , , , | 1 Comment

Rocking Back to the Past

Last night, I went to the theatre to see the stage version of the film, Backbeat, at the Duke of York’s theatre.

It was well-worth the ticket price and I haven’t enjoyed a musical play so much in years.

The only problem is it closes next Friday, so if you want to see it, you haven’t much time.

The play is mainly about how the Beatles formed into the four musicians we know so well and a fair proportion covers the story of their trips to Hamburg, where Stuart Suttcliffe left the band to continue his artistic career under Eduardo Paolozzi.  Sadly, Sutcliffe died in April 1962 at just 21. I know little of art, but I have friends who do, and Sutcliffe’s early death may have been a bigger tragedy than we think.

The play catches the mood of Liverpool in the sixties well, although I arrived in the city, after the Beatles had left and they play a lot of the songs that have been handed down from that time.

I did see the Beatles once though, that was at the Hammersmith Odeon after Christmas in 1964. Sadly, I never saw them again. There’s more detsils of that here.

I often wonder what the world would be like, if the Beatles hadn’t happened. I’d probably lose at least a laugh a week, as somewhere I’ll hear strains of their music and it will bring a smile to my face.

I think the saddest thing is probably the death of John Lennon and what would the world be like if he hadn’t have been shot? He might have been the one figure who could have helped stop the disastrous interventions into Iraq and Afghanistan.

But to return to last night. As I walked home after dancing in the aisles of the theatre to the tunes of the Beatles, I almost wouldn’t have minded having a serious heart attack and going then. I’ve seen two of my nearest and dearest have long drawn out deaths, so something fast, when I’m in a happy mood might do for me. But it will have to be medical, as I’m going to reach the span that my body will set for me.

February 8, 2012 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

Abbey Road Station

In the next few days or so, cable thieves permitting, the new extension of the DLR will open to Stratford International.

This will mean there will be a new station called Abbey Road.

I wonder how long after it opens, the first tourists turn up looking for the famous recording studios, where the Beatles made most of their records.

Perhaps the station should have been called Abbey Mills or Bazalgette, in honour of the Northern Outfall Sewer and the Abbey Mills Pumping Station nearby.

August 30, 2011 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Dedicated To All the Lonely People

Eleanor Rigby is one of the Beatle’s most famous songs and one of the few songs, with its own sculpture.

Eleanor Rigby, Stanley Street, Liverpool

The sculpture was created by Tommy Steele, who is better known as a rock-and-roll singer and musical performer. He gave the sculpture to the City of Liverpool in honour of the Beatles.

I sat for a few moments with Eleanor and thought of C, who never saw the modern Liverpool.

March 18, 2011 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 2 Comments